The New Zealand public tramping hut network is probably one of the best in the world. The network is administered by the Department of Conservation, a central government body who describe their 'challenge' as
'manage natural and historic heritage assets for the greatest benefit and enjoyment of all New Zealanders, by conserving, advocating and promoting natural and historic heritage so that its values are passed on undiminished to future generations.'
They also describe the huts they manage as follows
'Huts provide unique places to stay, refuge from bad weather and a place to rest and recover when you are out exploring the many parks and reserves. All DOC huts are more basic than a backpacker hostel.'
DOC have split their huts into one of four categories from the 'luxury' huts on the Great Walks through to a basic hut
|Great Walk Hut||Mattresses, water supply, toilets, hand washing facilities and heating with fuel available||$15 - $45|
|Serviced Hut||Mattresses, water supply, toilets, hand washing facilities and heating with fuel available||$15|
|Standard Huts||Mattresses, water supply and toilets. Wood heaters are provided at huts below the bush line||$5|
|Basic Huts||Very basic shelter with limited facilities||Free|
* figures are correct as of 1st June 2010 and are for one adult. Generally Great Walk Huts require booking and payment is to be made at the time of booking. Other category huts require hut tickets to be purchased before setting out, tickets cost $5.
Huts will vary from the incredibly spacious, such as the 80 bunk Pinnacles Hut, through to the compact Dasler Biv with room for two. Some huts have their own cooking facilities and even showers and lighting but generally a Standard DOC hut would have the following facilities
Most huts do not have any cooking facilities and the tramper is expected to carry in their own cooking equipment usually the ubiquitous gas cooker. A few have their own gas cookers and supply maintained by DOC. An alternative would be to use a flat-top log burner as a cooking surface although your success would depend on your fire-building skills.
Most huts have a log burner for heating. In theory in these huts there should be an axe to assist in collecting firewood however they tend to be blunt and have a strange weight distribution making them difficult to use. When collecting wood for heating please collect only DEAD wood.